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The Samsung KS8000 offers a sleek, glossy design and good color accuracy, but it isn’t the best value.
Smart TV features with smart-home potential
Smooth, glossy design
Lackluster black levels
Frustratingly minimalist remote
Awkward external connector box
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Not everything could be boiled right down to a set of items on a spec sheet. Just to illustrate: Samsung’s 55-inch KS8000 SUHD 4K TV. In some recoverable format, this $1,400 TV supplies the same features as the business’s $2,000 55-inch KS9000 SUHD 4K TV, but movie lovers will see that both sets deliver quite different pictures. Both models are 4K ultra-HD sets that use quantum-dot LCD displays with edge-lit LED lighting systems. Both support the most recent high dynamic range (HDR) color and brightness format for delivering more intense, saturated images – though neither supports Dolby Vision.
But whereas the KS9000 gives brightness, black levels and color saturation that rival those of OLED sets from LG, the KS8000 appears dull in comparison. Sure, it produced one of the most accurately rendered colors we’ve seen, but also for all its fidelity, it lacks a specific pizzazz that pricier sets deliver.
Design: shapely stature
With the energy off, Samsung’s 55-inch KS8000 SUHD 4K TV is obviously a looker. Its thin, chrome bezel is perched securely on a set of shiny, splayed, chrome legs. However the real attraction is an attribute Samsung calls a “360” design, meaning the obsidian-like curved back of it is merely as slick. In order to place the TV in the heart of the room rather than be embarrassed by ugly labels and cables on the trunk.
To do this effect, like other models from Samsung, the KS8000 uses an external connector box – referred to as the main one Connect – for most of its HDMI and other ports. You’ll think it’s the godsend or a needlessly fussy dongle, according to how obsessive you are with hiding wires.
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Performance: good, not great
LED LCD sets that make an effort to push the limits of the technology frequently have to make trade-offs within their display quality. The Samsung KS8000 embodies some of these compromises. Yes, it runs on the quantum-dot panel to increase the range and accuracy of the colors it could display, and it had been the most color-accurate sets we’ve encountered, according to your test charts. Moreover, the set is bright enough to stay watchable in a sunlit room.
The KS8000’s insufficient inky blacks was often conspicuous.
However, even in its best preset mode – Movie – the KS8000’s brightness seemed to almost wash out the picture. We didn’t see this pronounced influence on Samsung’s own KS9000 or LG’s E6 OLED display. And for an identical price, Vizio’s P-Series set offers an image with better contrast, plus support for Dolby Vision.
In lots of respects, the Samsung KS8000 produces a good image with an increase of colors and greater detail when compared to a standard 4K TV that lacks HDR support. However the KS8000’s insufficient inky blacks was often conspicuous. Exacerbating the problem, the video processing pushes it to show objects, such as for example stars in space, that are not really there while simultaneously turning the black background gray. Viewers may also notice that there’s nearly the colour intensity and saturation in deep reds that more costly sets produce.
Conversely, Samsung’s KS8000 revealed details in pictures, such as for example objects lurking in shadows. It did equally well in handling upscaled content from Blu-ray discs since it did with native 4K programming. Rainy scenes in the 4K version of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were finely rendered yet subtle. And within an ultra-HD test music video, I possibly could obviously find out faces in the darkened audience (although, again, it had been not as black since it might have been).
Interface: snazzy, with overly slick remote
The business’s Smart Hub software comes preinstalled on the KS8000. The theory is to incorporate a bunch of “smart” devices, such as for example compatible Smart Things sensors and cameras, with streaming services under an individual, horizontal group of icons over the bottom of the screen. Just how much this that suits you is determined by how invested you are in Smart Things gadgets.
I came across the tiny remote’s button-phobic design difficult to understand.
On the streaming-entertainment side, the interface is crisp, quick and mostly self-explanatory. It supports several popular services, including Netflix and Vudu for a few 4K content. The choice is not as comprehensive as you will discover on Sony’s Android TV-based iphone app store, nonetheless it covers the most watched services.
I came across the tiny remote’s button-phobic design difficult to understand. The curved controller (the same that is included with the KS9000) is a paragon of simplicity that you’ll either love or hate. There are no numeric keys, for instance, and the quantity and channel buttons are slim, silver toggles you press forward or backward.
Gleam mic button for initiating voice searches. If no person else is just about, the voice feature is convenient and generally accurate. You can make make use of it to change channels or search over the supported services for a movie or actor. One caveat: IT also offers a “voice guide,” this means it verbally assaults – er, informs – you of its status, such as for example when you change a setting or it can’t locate a signal. Somehow, I acquired this guide speaking in a high-speed, high-pitched voice that I couldn’t work out how to reset, therefore i just turned it off.
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Audio: modest musicality
In a battle of the bands, the Samsung KS8000 offers fewer decibels compared to the more costly Samsung KS9000 (40 watts total versus 60). Nevertheless, you can tweak the sound to fit your taste. Music mode gives songs more occurrence and volume compared to the Standard mode preset. You’ll receive more clarity from the brass section, for instance, however the lower bass notes won’t specifically blow you out of your bean-bag chair.
Other modes include Clear Voice, which practically excludes all sound aside from the dialogue, and Movie mode, which opens up soundtracks but has lots of the same frequency characteristics as the Music mode.
For anyone searching for a 4K ultra-HD TV that supports HDR content, the 55-inch Samsung KS8000 will be considered a contender. It produces a subtle picture with good detail. Unfortunately, it generally does not fully deliver on the HDR promise of more saturated colors and brilliant images that sets costing $600 or even more deliver.